This is a continuation of the details on one of my favorite body-calibration/easy fat loss methods.
It’s super easy to do once you get the basics down, and it’s great to keep your body healthy!
If followed correctly, it’s super easy fat loss!
Easy fat loss with the Keto diet: part 2!
In part one, we discussed the way that certain foods are digested and distributed inside the body and how chronic over consumption of sugar can cause problems. As you might have noticed, I left out quite a few key details such as what to eat, how much of each thing to eat and other very important aspects. There’s a good reason for this.
I’ll discuss the dangers and get into the nitty-gritty of what to eat. Keto is like a drug. For most people, taken correctly, it is perfectly safe and effective. This metabolism is naturally built into the human body for a reason. (1) However, to use it without endangering your health you NEED to read the warnings!
WARNING: KETO is not for everyone!
You are “hacking” very important functions of the human body and there are side effects! Don’t come crying to me if you don’t follow my directions! You’ve been warned!
Warning to those with type I or II diabetes:
The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to drastically reduce the insulin levels in the body for a certain amount of time. Doing this forces your body to switch to fat burning metabolism based on insulin levels. For type I diabetes people, THIS IS LIFE THREATENING. Do NOT use keto for weight loss, you can die.
As for type 2 diabetes, I would not recommend trying keto for most people. Theoretically, doing a low carbohydrate diet is something worth looking into, but I have not done the research on it yet. Remember that type 2 diabetes is largely CAUSED by excessive insulin levels due to excessive carb intake. I don’t believe for one minute that type 2 diabetes people need so much glucose in their daily diet.
In fact, I’ve heard of keto TREATING Diabetes! This is amazing stuff, people. However, do your research before you jump into it. It can still be dangerous. For the otherwise “healthy” but overweight people, keto is a very healthy practice. I like to use keto occasionally for both easy fat loss and general health reasons. Keto is a perfect way to undo the “damage” caused by chronically high levels of insulin from excessive carb intake. It will re-calibrate the sensitivity of your insulin receptors. Remember that overwhelmed receptors will shut down and become less sensitive. This is what leads to diabetes! Keto can greatly prevent that. Keep in mind that prolonged fasting (more than 3 days) can also be dangerous for diabetics. Weight loss is important, but don’t put your life in danger for it!
What is KETOACIDOSIS?
Ketoacidosis is defined as is “a pathological metabolic state marked by extreme and uncontrolled ketosis. (2) I’ve read many “experts” and doctors saying that low carb diets are dangerous for this reason, which is complete BS if you’re not DIABETIC! Ketoacidosis is only dangerous and life threatening FOR THOSE WITH DIABETES.
Ketoacidosis is defined as 8 mmol or higher and pathological ketoacidosis, as in diabetic ketoacidosis, can result in ketone concentrations of 20 mmol or greater. Ketoacidosis, as it occurs in Type I diabetics and alcoholics and which is potentially fatal, will not occur in non- diabetic individuals due to built in feedback loops whereby excess ketones stimulate the release of insulin, slowing ketone body formation.“The Ketogenic Diet” by Lyle McDonald, page 34, 36. (3)
If you ever pick up one of those damn health magazines claiming how dangerous the low carb diets are because of ketoacidosis, flip it off and throw it away. Any doctor who can’t tell the difference between ketoacidosis and ketosis should not be dispensing weight loss advice. If this were the case, I should have died a long time ago. I didn’t.
Ah yes, the dreaded keto-flu. For some individuals, they will get flu-like symptoms. When a person is entering ketogenic metabolism, some key changes take effect. The one that we’re most interested in is the switch from glucose/sugar burning to fat burning, but during that time, many very important minerals are moving around. These minerals are usually stored in the body for times when it is needed. Normally, people don’t need to worry about them because their food and multivitamins take care of it. This time, it’s different.
The body is always trying to balance the internal pH and other various states,(4) and it requires some chemical exchanges. Keto causes a lot of stored water and minerals to be flushed. This means you HAVE to supplement extra ways to restore those minerals to your body. If you don’t, you WILL get sick.
I personally had a not-so-pleasant experience when I first tried keto. I read through the FAQ a little too quickly and had only a general understanding of the mechanism, so I gave it a try. About a day or two after adjusting my carbohydrates, I remember one morning I began to see a strange black spot in the corner of my vision. It only lasted about 10 minutes then it went away. An hour later, I slowly began to develop a slight headache. Now, for me, this is VERY unusual.
I almost never get headaches. Over the course of the next hour, this headache grew progressively more painful. It was so bad, I had to excuse myself from an important presentation to sit down and try to get it to go away. I did this for about an hour and eventually I had a slowly growing nausea along with the head-throbbing headache. I went to lay down at the medical station and took ibuprofen. In total, after about an 3 hours of headaches and nausea, I finally ended up vomiting a few times and going to the hospital. I knew it was due to the keto, but they insisted I go into the ER anyways. Of course they found nothing really wrong with me except for one simple thing: low electrolytes.
What are electrolytes? Why are they important?
Well other than being “What Plants Crave” (hopefully someone got that joke), electrolytes are the minerals that the body needs to have proper cellular function and systemic balancing.
They are those minerals I mentioned before. They are literally chemicals that give water added electrical conduction properties. Salt (sodium) is a common electrolyte. Pure water is not really electrically conductive until you add an electrolyte to it. ON KETO, YOU HAVE TO CONSUME EXTRA ELECTROLYTES! YOU WILL GET SICK IF YOU DO NOT!
Here’s the top 3 most important and how much you need PER DAY (3):
- Potassium (5000mg)
- Magnesium (1000mg)
- Sodium (300mg)
My headache and nausea were all because I neglected to get enough electrolytes when I began keto. This is especially important if you have never tried an ultra low carb diet before. This is like a sucker punch to your system, brace yourself and it will save you a trip to the ER! The good news is that it’s easy to do. You have a few options:
- Various soups, miso soup especially
- Bone Broth, or for the lazy, pre-made/bullion cube broth
- Sprinkle extra salt or salt alternative on foods
- Take supplemental amounts in pill form
I’m sure you’ve heard otherwise, but extra sodium is not “bad for you” and it won’t “cause you to gain weight”. Sodium is an essential nutrient (5) that your cells need for proper functioning! The major thing that affects our water weights is based on sodium FLUCTUATION. (6) Keep your sodium intake consistent (in moderation) and you’ll be good. Otherwise, just supplement with said minerals in pill form. I like to take a Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc pill supplement.
The good news is the added calcium has been shown to help bind to the free floating fat and make it easier to be, *ahem,* expelled. (7) Since keto causes your body to automatically burn up fat, you’re in easy fat loss mode all time! Bone broth is something for another day, but read up on it here. If you have a crockpot, USE IT! It’s super easy to make and insanely healthy for you. Normally I’m all for higher end sources of meat for bone broth, but not everyone has access or money for it. For those who cannot get good quality grassfed stuff, or are too lazy to make it, pre-made broths and bullion cubes will suffice.
Keep in mind they add MSG to simulate the flavor of a real broth, and frankly that’s a no-no. We don’t need MSG and partially hydrogenated BS in our systems. Try a real slow-cooked bone broth then try the fake stuff and you’ll see. The biggest thing is to get enough potassium when entering keto. It’s a little harder to get since many of the primary dietary sources contain mostly carbs, but getting some extra leafy greens in is an easy way to do it. (8) “Hatcho miso” for soups is another excellent source. Just be sure to watch overall carb intake! (more on that in a minute)
DRINK WATER. LOTS OF WATER. DRINK IT ALL DAY LONG.
For reasons I will not go too deep into right now, low carb diets have a tendency to release stored water reserves in the body. (as in 5-10 lbs worth!) You HAVE to keep your precious water levels high while on keto. I can’t stress that enough. You need to learn to love water or you WILL get sick. Water and electrolytes are crucial to feel normal on keto. OK so hopefully you understand the inherent dangers of Keto now. It is not something to be taken lightly. It is a powerful technique but you must know what you’re doing. Now that I’ve scared you straight, let’s get into the details of what to eat and what not to eat!
What do I eat for easy fat loss? BACON.
You’re going to concentrate your diet on mostly fats and proteins. (Not sure what exactly those are? Check out my free ebook!) Make sure you get a serving of lower carb vegetables in every day for fiber. A few of my favorite keto foods are:
- Meats like steak, ribs, bunless cheeseburgers, pork chops
- Fowl like rotisserie chicken, eggs, butter-basted turkey
- Seafoods like tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, etc.
- High quality fats like olive oils, mayo, butter, and best of all: coconut oil!
What to avoid: Anything sugary or starchy. All grains are almost pure carbs. Virtually all processed foods contain disgusting amounts of added sugar. Here’s a quick carb list:
- Bread/wheat, pasta, corn, rice, cereals, granola, bran, anything starchy really. Remember starch = glucose = sugar.
- Anything with sugar/high fructose corn syrup especially. It’s in most junk foods.
- Most fruits, some vegetables like potatoes and yams.
- Cakes, ice crème, cookies, bars, sauces, beer, sugary sodas, sugary mixed drinks
Remember: most foods advertised as “low fat” means they cram it full of sugar!
So yeah, that’s the bad news. You have to really watch what you stick down your gullet.
If you’re like me, you have a sweet tooth and might find it hard to give up these things. Keto will help reduce a sweet tooth. What you’ll quickly realize is that carbs are in virtually EVERYTHING. Especially convenience based foods like fast food and vending machines.
You’ll have to avoid a good part of the grocery store if you really want to stick with keto. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it for such easy fat loss! Nothing worth doing comes easy. However, this is the best workaround I’ve discovered that most people can do.
I’ve seen people pushing 400-500 lbs dropping literally hundreds of pounds using this method. Don’t believe me? Check out /r/Keto and look at some people’s before and after pictures. Most of them do it without exercise! Plus, there are tons of low carb alternatives to your favorite foods out there. Just need to put the effort into finding them and making them!
The deciding factor of keto is just how many grams of carbohydrates you consume per day. For most people, the magic number is 30 grams. Some can have 50 grams or higher, while beginners should shoot for 20 grams to enter keto. Depending on factors like weight, metabolism, exercise levels and keto experience, it can take anywhere from 1-4 days to fully begin the keto process. Once you’re in keto, it’s all or nothing. The moment you reach a certain threshold of carbs, you’re dropped out of keto and back to normal. There is no cheating if you want to stay in keto.
You HAVE to watch your carb intake and figure out your daily allotment. Here is an excellent and easy to use online calculator that will give you exactly the numbers you need of each of the macro nutrients and gives you a rough amount of calories to shoot for. Notice how I did not mention calories for most of this article? That’s a subject for another time, but for now it’s up to you overeat or not.
Keto will greatly reduce your appetite the longer you stick with it! Basically, If you eat under your basal metabolic rate, you’ll see some lovely easy fat loss. Depending on your body type, you can overeat and STILL lose weight. I’ll explain that next time. For a nice long list of food to look for and foods to avoid, take a look at this site.
How do I tell if I am in keto?
Remember those Ketostix I mentioned in my previous keto post? For the serious keto-ers, you’re going to want to invest in those. Check them out here: Ketostix Reagent Strips for Urinalysis Test – 50 pack
The purpose of the Ketostix is to measure the amount of ketone bodies in the urine. Yep, you basically piddle on these things and if you have enough ketones dissolved in your urine, the stick will turn a different color. No matter what color it changes, if it changes color, congrats! You’re in keto!
If it doesn’t change, chances are you either are still eating too many carbs or somehow got kicked out of keto. It’s not not always 100% accurate, but it’s one major indicator. Don’t go crazy if you get kicked out of keto, it happens to everyone sooner or later. Figure out what you did wrong and learn from it. Keep a log on something like Myfitnesspal or google the food’s nutritional facts and record your totals every day.
How did I know keto was working for me? Let’s just say I’ve gone through about 5 different wardrobes in the past few years. I used to wear XXL and now I’m hovering between medium and large. If you’re using keto to lose fat: prepare to buy new clothing.
In Keto part 3, I’ll discuss a few of the weirdnesses of keto, things to look for and go into a little more detail on where to find keto recipes, the role of alcoholic drinks, and some other cool details. Until then, check out the FAQ and familiarize yourself with the list of keto foods.
For some ideas and recipes, check out out my list of links for great low carb recipes.